Runyon Canyon Park Los Angeles, CA

By Harley Phelger

Tucked into the slopes just above Hollywood Boulevard, Runyon Canyon Park is a far cry from true wilderness. But whether you’re an Angeleno looking for a moderately challenging hike (or simply a break from the bustling city), or a tourist in need of the perfect panorama, Runyon is among only a handful of options that don’t require a considerable stint in traffic. Recently, I tried it out.

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Mount Tremper

By Matthew Young

Standing atop the tower, peering over the uneven land that seems ready to reawaken, there is a feeling of calm anticipation, of readiness for the changing season ahead. I could stay motionless on the top, endlessly taking in each separate scene, but the chilly spring winds get the best of me.

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Stony Kill Falls

By Matthew Young

In the surrounding forest, mushrooms line the banks, popping up from moss covered logs, decaying and rotting away, as millipedes wind their way in and out of the crevices. There are signs of the coming autumn everywhere. From the dry air to the scattered red leaves, the season’s first to fall. 

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Hiking in the Heat: Minnewaska State Park

By Connor Mccausland

As we kept going, drenched with salty sweat and tasting it with every step, we stopped in the shade to take one of many breaks. In the stillness, we heard something that sounded like a choir: a babbling brook, and singing stream, a ringing river. We quickly went off the beaten path (much easier literally than figuratively) and headed towards the sound

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Rae Lakes Loop Trail

By Vincent Ribeiro & Jocelyn Chuang

We camped past the lakes to get away from some of the wetlands on a breezy rock just off the trail, and saw some other hikers camping a few dozen yards away from us. Jocelyn looked out at the stars at one point in the night and saw a bear cruising along the rock outcropping minding its own business.

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Huckleberry Point

By Matthew Young

The Hudson River cuts through the canopy to your left, and the Shawangunk Ridge rises in the distance like broken glass in a blue haze. Turkey Vultures and hawks ride the thermals, navigating gracefully in the air overhead without a sound.

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Bashakill Wetlands

By Matthew Young

The bass notes of the bullfrogs set the rhythm section of the wildlife orchestra that crescendos on warm nights. The katydids and peepers repeat a swelling chorus that echoes off the Shawangunk ridge. Though far from the city, the sounds of summer at the Bashakill wetlands rival New York’s busy streets.

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Storm King Mountain & Butter Hill

By Matthew Young

Even though other places may have taller peaks or deeper canyons, the mountains and forests of Upstate New York have a completely different appeal. They feel older, time worn and rich in history. Even with New York City so close, the land feels ancient and unchanged. You can touch the sandstone and limestone that has been rounded out for eons, and walk atop the slabs carved out by glaciers. 

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Denton Falls & Mullet Falls

By Matthew Young

The woods in the Neversink Unique area are strangely quiet and still. What sounds like light rain on a cloudless day is actually the sound of leaves and needles dropping from the trees, landing softly on the forest floor. Because of the abundance of pine trees, much the land here seems less dense than other hikes, without the leafy branches blocking out the sun.

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